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Torah shield decorated on both sides
Lemberg, Austrian Empire (today Lvov, Ukraine)
1806
Silver, pierced, engraved, punched, riveted, and gilt
H: 24.7 cm
Gift of Charles Michael, San Francisco, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: B13.0558 ; 148/305

Unusually, this shield is ornamented on both sides. The front is decorated in the tradition typical of Polish Jewry - with a crowned Decalogue, flanked by pillars and surrounded by various beasts, birds, and foliate patterns, while the reverse bears a depiction of the Binding of Isaac and a detailed plan of the Temple. Since only its front side can be seen when a shield hangs over the Torah mantle, this second decoration is somewhat enigmatic - it may be that the shield was reversed to show this side on special days.


From the Israel Museum publications:
3x50@50: IMJ Collection Highlights, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2015


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